The 5 Hottest Mobile Gaming Controllers On The Market Right Now

The 5 Hottest Mobile Gaming Controllers On The Market Right Now
At Kotaku, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.

The days of having to wait until you get home from school, uni or work to game are no more. Mobile gaming has come a long way from the aggressive swiping actions needed during Angry Birds and Temple Run. So much so that a mobile gaming controller might just be the thing to further immerse you in the world of Honkai: Star Rail, or help you secure kills in League of Legends: Wild Rift.

No matter what type of mobile game you want to play, we’ve rounded up a bunch of our favourite controllers so you can start gaming sooner rather than later. From the cult-favourite Backbone One, to the Razer Kishi, you’re bound to find a game controller for your phone model and budget.

Let’s get into it.

This article has been updated since its original publication.

The best mobile gaming controllers

GameSir X2 Pro

Image: GameSir

The GameSir X2 Pro is an Android-only mobile gaming controller and is the most customisable on this list. It comes with two sets of thumb sticks and grips for each, as well as movable ABXY buttons. So whether you’re used to the layout of Nintendo or Xbox controllers, you’ll feel comfortable.

It also comes with its own carry case for easy transport, meaning you don’t have to walk around with a pair of clunky bookends on your phone all the time. The GameSir X2 Pro also looks pretty similar to an undocked Nintendo Switch as well, so if you’re a fan of a sleek and simple shape, this could be the perfect mobile gaming controller.

Shop the GameSir X2 Pro here:

Turtle Beach Atom

mobile gaming controller
Image: Turtle Beach

The Turtle Beach Atom is one of the most portable and flexible mobile gaming controllers available. It uses Bluetooth to connect to your Android phone via a 2.4GHz wireless connection with low latency, meaning it has undetectable input lag — which is great if you’re playing something like Fortnite or Call of Duty: Mobile.

The controller also features full-sized thumb sticks, a D-Pad, ABXY buttons, bumpers and triggers, so your hands won’t start cramping in the middle of an intense gaming session. The sides of the controller magnetically attach to each other for easy transport and storage.

And the best part? It fits phones with cases on, so you don’t need to make your phone go nakey while you’re in a heated battle.

Shop the Turtle Beach Atom here:

Backbone One

Image: Backbone

The Backbone One is also a fantastic choice when it comes to mobile gaming controllers. This bad boy snaps onto either side of your phone before selecting the Backbone app to instantly start playing your favourite game.

It was designed in partnership with the team who created the Xbox controller, so you know that every button has been carefully positioned to offer a streamlined gaming experience. The Backbone One is compatible with any game that offers controller support, so you can choose between hundreds of titles including Minecraft or Asphalt 9.

Among its many great features, some standouts include its 3.5mm headphone jack, built-in screenshot button, a dedicated Backbone home button and of course clickable triggers. And let’s not forget that it’s compatible with Cloud gaming services, including Xbox Cloud.

The Backbone app itself really gives you the vibe that you’re playing on a console thanks to its all-in-one game launcher. It intelligently collates all of your gaming apps in one place and can give you recommendations based on your preferences. It even allows you to record, edit and share your best gaming moments. Plus, it can instantly notify you when your friends come online so you can hit them up to join your party in a beat.

Shop the Backbone One here:

Razer Kishi V2

mobile gaming controller
Image: Razer

The Razer Kishi V2 is touted as one of the best premium controllers for mobile gaming around. Capable of supporting both iOS and Android, the Razer Kishi is a fan-favourite because of its Nintendo Switch-like controllers that allows you to clamp it on either end of your smartphone.

It comes with a complete set of triggers, shoulder buttons, clickable analogue sticks and D-Pad for tactile feedback and improved accuracy. The controller itself is designed for long gaming sessions (perfect for the solely mobile gamer) thanks to its ergonomic design and optimised button placement.

Since it sports a USB-C charging port, there’s no need to recharge it — it simply relies on your phone’s internal battery. That said, you can always plug in a cable if your battery goes into the red so you can keep on gaming.

The Razer Kishi is Bluetooth-compatible, which makes it super quick and easy to pair. But just be aware that some games on the app store don’t support Bluetooth controllers, so make sure you check with your favourites before purchasing.

It also happens to be among the most travel-friendly controllers you can find, since you can disconnect it from your phone, snap each end into each other and pocket it for later.

Shop the Razer Kishi V2 here:

SteelSeries Stratus Duo

mobile gaming controller
Image: Steelseries

This controller features a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and dual wireless connectivity. This means the SteelSeries Stratus Duo can sustain up to 20 hours playtime and connect to either your phone via Bluetooth or computer via 2.4 GHz wireless. In order to take advantage of this multi-platform controller, all you have to do is attach its included Wi-Fi dongle if you wish to switch over to your PC.

This controller was made to pair with Fortnite Mobile, but it is Steam-powered meaning you can pair and play with 5000+ controller-enabled games. Design-wise, it was created to be full-sized and ergonomic, featuring clickable analogue joysticks that cater to precision and performance, regardless of whether you need to engage in a bit of button-mashing to get out of a tight spot. The Stratus Duo features updated triggers, in contrast to previous SteelSeries controllers, that are more durable so that they last longer and can sustain aggressive gameplay.

Shop the SteelSeries Stratus Duo here:

What to consider before getting a mobile gaming controller

Image: iStock/luza studios

Is it compatible with my smartphone?

Before you add that handsome-looking phone game controller to your cart, it’s best we ask you: Android or iOS?

You’d be surprised by the amount of mobile gaming controllers out there that are tailored only for Android. While there are plenty of options you can roll with if you want one that’s cross-platform, you’ll need to pay close attention to its compatibility. There’s nothing more groan-inducing than realising you have to return something because you forgot to check the compatibility.

Do I need a controller?

It goes without saying, but please don’t buy a mobile phone gaming controller if you don’t actually need one. There’s nothing worse than dropping a lot of cash on something that will just end up collecting dust.

The easiest way to do this is to ensure your game comes with controller support and Bluetooth compatibility. It’s obvious that first-person shooters like Fortnite demand a controller if you want to have any success with winning the battle royale. But Hearthstone? Don’t bother.

How about a mount?

While you can rely on your Xbox or PlayStation DualSense controllers if you don’t want to buy a dedicated mobile gaming controller, just remember you’re going to need to buy a phone mount.

Admittedly, they can be the most affordable option, but not ideal if you don’t have access to a spare controller, plus they need to be recharged often. Sometimes, it pays to have a dedicated smartphone controller — especially if it sports a USB-C port so that it relies on your phone’s battery for juice instead.

Image credit: GameSir/Turtle Beach/Razer/SteelSeries/Backbone

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At Kotaku, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.


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